A Revolutionary March for Sixth Graders

Some George Fischer Middle School sixth graders donned tri-corner hats and revolutionary garb for a historical walking tour of Carmel.  

 “We hiked the Fred Dill Sanctuary trail then went to Reed Memorial Library where Town Historian Alicia Briley spoke to the students about the history of Carmel,” Reading Teacher Denise Santalis said. “Then we marched across the street to the Sybil Ludington statue where students made an encampment with tents and then drilled.”   

The field trip was a reading department tradition. It is the culmination of a unit of study about Sybil Ludington, Enoch Crosby and local history. Prior to the field trip, students read about Sybil Ludington, the 16-year-old daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, and how she rallied the militia to make the march to Danbury, CT to fight the British. Students also read about Enoch Crosby, the first American spy. Known as one of the country’s first intelligence agents, Crosby predated the CIA by more than 150 years. He lived in Carmel and was a cobbler in Kent. 

Santalis and the rest of the middle school reading staff -- Ornella Salza, Lisa Booth, Rich Tompkins and Lucy Weidenhamer – got help from Joe Ryan and Jon Svibruk of the Living History Educational Foundation. The foundation loaned the students the Revolutionary War uniforms, haversacks, cartridge boxes and wooden muskets. 

 The foundation gave Santalis a sword for orchestrating the field trip and unit of study for the last several years. 

“That was such an honor,” she said. 

Seventh grade Social Studies Teacher Keith Reilly and Carmel High School History Teachers Zach Creeden and Rob Buccheri joined the trip, drilled the students and fired live muskets in a demonstration of Carmel’s rich history.  

The group then ventured to the Putnam County Historic Courthouse where the Putnam County Court Judge Anthony R. Mole spoke to the students. This interactive session was filled with questions about the court system and what students face in today’s challenging times.